My father was an esteemed doctor but, after 11 hours of daily uninterrupted practice, the last thing he wanted to treat was any illness in the family. So we all became rather stoic. We also learned a lot about the medical business. One of the uses of a good doctor is to assess whether an operation or expensive course of treatment is actually worthwhile.
I have been diagnosed with a possible hernia. To be exact, a section of my abdomen that has previously herniated may have done so again. It’s not painful but mildly uncomfortable. I saw my private doctor yesterday who advised that, unless I was prepared to lose weight, such an operation is redundant as weight pressure will soon render another necessary. This is precisely what I wanted I hear as such an operation runs into several thousands. Still in the realm of medical finance, at my age medical insurance hardly covers anything and what it does is charged at enormous premia. The good doctor also discussed my prescription as the pharmacist and ex-all-Ireland featherweight champion had received a directive that the statin dose in conjunction with blood pressure mediation was too high. Whilst there, he also had a look at my waxed-up ears and did a blood test for cholesterol. All this cost me £120 of which half was for the blood. I had excellent value. Above all unlike my GP, he was punctual, unrushed and did not spend the consultation staring into the computer.
This place was so clean it might have been a Swiss clinic. I was taken into a room, injected with iodine and passed under an arch to be scanned.
I was given a cup of tea and my very own CD of the results. This will cost £650. I imagine that the fee is justified by the enormous cost of such machines but the process did not last more than 10 minutes.
The police had cordoned off the street. As we circumnavigated the centre I saw an air ambulance parked outside the Royal Pavilion. The Kent, Sussex and Surrey air ambulance is a charity I support. I was invited to the palatial home of a husband and wife on the charity committee for a fund raising Ruth Henshal concert recently. This man, another doctor, made a fortune in the medical insurance field selling his company for over £60 million. Now that is what I really call a medical business.